Welcome to NOM’s live coverage of today’s hearing in the California Supreme Court on the question of whether the proponents of Prop 8 have standing to appeal Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that claimed Prop 8 was unconstitutional.
Many legal experts believe that the proponents of Proposition 8 will win this particular legal round.
The issue of standing in federal court may hinge on whether the state gives initiative proponents --i.e. those who organized Prop 8-- the legal right to defend such initiatives from legal attack. This is what is at stake in today’s case. In essence, the California Supreme Court is being asked to issue an advisory opinion which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will then take under advisement.
The reason that most people think the proponents of Prop 8 will prevail on this question is two-fold. First, these very initiative proponents have already been granted the right to defend this very initiative before this very court – the California Supreme Court. Second, if initiative proponents do not have the right to defend their initiative once passed by the people, then we would be giving the Governor and Attorney General veto power over the people. They could simply negate an initiative by refusing to defend it in court. Yet no state constitution gives such power to those elected officials.
There is also little doubt that Justice Stephen Reinhart wants the California Supreme Court to find that the proponents of Prop 8 have standing to bring the appeal to his court. If there is no standing, there is no legal controversy and Reinhart will be denied the opportunity to rule on the merits of Prop 8. He needs standing to rule that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, which he no doubt intends to do.
So stay tuned with us!
UPDATE: The Prop 8 Live Blog is online here.